How To Travel With Your Cat In A Camper Van - A Step by Step Guide
No more preconceived ideas: your cat can travel with you in a camper van! All you have to do is gently accustom him to this new second home. If you follow a few safety and common sense rules, you can enjoy your holiday with your favorite pet in peace and quiet.
Here are a few tips and practical advice on how to travel with your cat in a motor home in the best possible conditions.
Step 1: Essential things to check and take with you on a trip with your cat
Food, veterinary products, miscellaneous items: whether you have your own vehicle or have to rent a motor home, before you travel by van with your cat, you should also bring your cat’s suitcase! Provide a sufficient quantity of food, as well as food and water bowls. Make sure to prepare a small first-aid kit with basic products, such as eye drops and anti-parasites. Also don’t forget to bring a brush for your cat, litter box and some toys.
Before your vacation, you have to remember to check your cat’s vaccinations, especially the rabies vaccine and the feline leukemia vaccine. Your cat should also have her microchip and, if you wish to travel to another country with your cat, she should have a valid feline passport. All these formalities are important to avoid illness and to find your cat if he gets lost.
Step 2: Preparing the cat's space in the van
In order for your pet to quickly make himself at home in this new space, think about setting up a small area just for him, if possible high up or in a small corner where he will feel safe. You can also place his small basket or blanket brought from home, along with the toys he is most used to playing with. Also, keep his bowls in the same place at all times.
Tip: you can also create a space just for him in the hold, where he will like to take refuge during your breaks and stops along the way.
Step 3: Introducing the environment to the cat
This is a very important step for your trip with a cat in a camper van: introduce your cat to this new space a few days before departure, so that he can gradually get used to it and sniff this new environment. Encourage him with a soft voice, show him every nook and cranny and let him discover the motor home by himself for 15 minutes each day. He will then be able to spot his space with his blanket, his bowls and his litter box.
Don’t hesitate to reward him, bring him to the bed to pet him, or play with him inside the cabin for a few minutes. You can also fill his bowl with water and kibble, and get him used to having one or two meals in the camper before leaving. It’s the ideal way to keep your cat safe and avoid stress from the first day of your holiday!
Step 4: Riding safely
To travel in a camper van with a cat in complete safety, there are a few common sense rules to follow.
The first of these is that while travelling, your cat should not be allowed to roam freely in the passenger compartment. There are two solutions: you can put your pet in a cat carrier bag that you lock in a corner or behind the driver, or you can secure it with a harness and leash. This way, your cat will be better protected (and so will you!) in the event of an accident or a slightly violent braking manoeuvre.
Step 5: Take regular breaks during your trip
The journey is the destination! Remember to take a break every two hours during your motor home trip. Each time, remember to give your little feline a drink.
If you notice that your pet is ill during the journey, don’t hesitate to give it a cat medicine against motion sickness, which you can easily find in a pharmacy.
During your stops, don’t leave your cat in direct sunlight and preferably park in the shade if it’s very hot.
Step 6: Remain vigilant during your stay
When travelling by van with your cat, you should always keep an eye on your pet. You can leave him alone inside, but only if it is not too hot in the cabin, in the shade and never for very long.
On the other hand, never let your cat roam in the wild without holding it in a harness and leash. You should also be wary of dogs in the wild, especially if you stop at a campsite or even in town. And remember to close the door behind you if your cat is unrestrained!
Travelling with your cat in a motor home certainly requires organization and vigilance, but it is also a real pleasure to be able to share this experience together. Of course, it’s best to get your cat used to travelling from a young age, but even adult cats can get used to it.
At the end of the day, what counts for your little fur ball is your reassuring presence!